Tree mortality from fire and bark beetles following early and late season prescribed fires in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest.

Dylan Schwilk, E Knapp, S Ferrenberg, J E Keeley, A C Caprio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Over the last century, fire exclusion in the forests of the Sierra Nevada has allowed surface fuels to accumulate and has led to increased tree density. Stand composition has also been altered as shade tolerant tree species crowd out shade intolerant species. To restore forest structure and reduce the risk of large, intense fires, managers have increasingly used prescription burning. Most fires prior to EuroAmerican settlement occurred during the late summer and early fall and most prescribed burning has taken place during the latter part of this period. Poor air quality and lack of suitable burn windows during the fall, however, have resulted in a need to conduct more prescription burning earlier in the season. Previous reports have suggested that burning during the time when trees are actively growing may increase mortality rates due to fine root damage and/or bark beetle activity. This study examines the effects of fire on tree mortality and bark beetle attacks under prescription burnin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
JournalForest Ecology and Management
StatePublished - 2006

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